Vitaly Petrov is to become Russia's first Formula One driver after being handed a seat for the 2010 season by Renault, the French carmaker confirmed Sunday at the launch of its new R30 car at the Valencia circuit in Spain, dpa reported.
The 25-year-old, who finished in second place in last year's GP2 series behind German Nico Hulkenberg (now with Williams), will partner Poland's Robert Kubica.
Petrov has apparently put together a multi-million-dollar sponsorship package to finally convince Renault that he is the man to pilot the R30 in 2010.
"For our team, this is the beginning of a new era. With a new structure, new drivers and new colours there are a lot of things we can be excited about," said new team principal Eric Boullier.
Renault seriously considered pulling out of F1 at the end of last season but instead decided to sell a majority stake in the team to Luxembourg-based private investment firm Genii Capital.
The new car is now yellow and black following the exit of ING as Renault's title sponsor towards the end of last season.